The Plagues of Egypt Begin

As the plagues of Egypt began to take place, no one knew how similar the coming events would be to those which will take place in the latter days.  As we review the events leading up to the Passover, let’s also consider what will happen in the last days.

As Exodus 6 ended, the Lord told Moses to go back to Pharaoh and say whatever He told him to say.  If you recall, Moses said he had uncircumcised lips and he didn’t think Pharaoh would heed him.

In the beginning of Exodus 7, the Lord reminded Moses that He had made him as God and that Aaron would be his prophet.  They were to say everything that God commanded them to say.  The Lord warned Moses ahead of time that Pharaoh would not obey.  God intended to harden Pharaoh’s heart and to execute judgment on Egypt so the Egyptians would know He is the Lord when He finally brought the children of Israel out of Egypt.

Moses and Aaron obeyed the Lord.  We are told that Moses was 80 and Aaron was 83 years old when they spoke to Pharaoh so they were not young men.  They had years of experience behind them but they needed to learn so much more including dealing with their fear.

Moses and Aaron were much like the two witnesses of Revelation 11 will be when they prophesy for the 1260 days prior to Christ’s return.  These witnesses are the two olive trees and menorahs (lamp stands) standing before the Lord and they will have authority and power similar to that of Moses and Aaron.

Aaron performed the first miracle before Pharaoh and his servants by casting down his rod so that it became a snake.  The magicians of Egypt, Janis and Jambres did likewise but their snakes were swallowed by Aaron’s.[1]  They did not yet know who they were dealing with.

Second Timothy 3:8 warns us there will be people in the last days like Jannes (Janis) and Jambres who will oppose truth.  They’ll have a form of godliness but deny its power.  We must live godly lives realizing the power of God and knowing what awaits those who refuse to put their trust in the Lord.  Our hearts must remain soft and pliable.  We must not allow our hearts to become like Pharaoh’s.

Pharaoh’s heart was hard and he refused to let God’s people leave Egypt.  The Lord commanded Moses and Aaron to meet Pharaoh by the riverbank when he went to the water in the morning, to tell Pharaoh to let His people go, and to strike the water with his rod so it would turn to blood.  By doing so, Moses was to prove to Pharaoh that He was the Lord.

Not only did Moses and Aaron turn the water of the Nile into blood but the water that was in streams, rivers, pools, and various containers was also turned into blood.  The fish in the river died, the river stank, and the Egyptians could not drink the water.  This did not impress Pharaoh because his magicians copied Moses’ plague in Goshen.[2]

This plague should remind us of the second and third bowls (plagues) of Revelation 16.  The water in the sea, rivers, and springs turned to blood and every living thing in the sea died.  The angel said the wicked deserved it for killing God’s people and prophets.  Certainly Pharaoh deserved this plague for treating God’s people cruelly and killing many of them.

Consider the enormous contrast between this plague and when Jesus turned the water into wine at the wedding in Cana of Galilee (John 2).  The master of the feast didn’t know where the wine came from.  He only knew it was better than what had been served first.  By doing this, Jesus blessed everyone who drank this wine, He manifested His glory, and His disciples believed in Him because their hearts were not hard like Pharaoh’s.

The battle between Moses, Aaron, and the magicians continued with a plague of frogs.  Pharaoh asked Moses to have the Lord take away the frogs and promised to let His people go so they could make sacrifices to the Lord.  Moses said the frogs would depart the next day and only would remain in the river so Pharaoh would know there is no one like the Lord our God.  The Lord did according to Moses’ word but Pharaoh was quick to harden his heart again.

The plague of frogs in Egypt can be compared to the frogs in Revelation 16.  The sixth angel poured out his bowl (plague) on the great Euphrates River.  The water dried up so the kings of the east might be prepared.  John saw three unclean spirits like frogs coming out of the mouth of the dragon, beast, and false prophet.  These frog-like spirits were demons which performed signs to gather the kings of the earth for the day of God Almighty – for the Battle of Armageddon.

As our story In Egypt continued, Pharaoh was in a spiritual and physical battle with the Lord but He refused to acknowledge that the Lord, He is God.  In the last days, the kings of the earth will not realize they are in a spiritual and physical battle with the Lord.  They will fight until the bitter end. 

The third plague the Egyptians experienced was when Moses and Aaron turned the dust of the earth into lice.  The magicians could not copy this plague and told Pharaoh that this plague was the result of the finger of God.  Despite this, Pharaoh’s heart remained hard.

From this point on, God made a distinction between the Egyptians and His people.  We see a similar distinction in Revelation.  The first five seals and first four trumpets affected both believers and non-believers in an attempt to get them to repent of their sins.  The seventh seal, the fifth and sixth trumpet, and all seven plagues (bowls) of God’s wrath and judgment fell only on those who were loyal to the beast.  

The fourth plague in Egypt was swarms of flies.  Pharaoh offered to let God’s people make sacrifices in the land of Egypt but Moses said the Egyptians would consider it to be an abomination to them and they would respond by stoning God’s people.  Moses insisted on going a 3 day journey into the wilderness to do so.  Pharaoh agreed as long as they didn’t go too far away.  He then asked Moses to intercede for him.  Moses promised to do so but warned Pharaoh not to be deceitful any longer.  The Lord made the flies go away but Pharaoh hardened his heart again and did not keep his promise. 

The fifth plague in Egypt was pestilence against the livestock.  It killed the cattle, horses, donkeys, camels, oxen, and sheep.  This should remind us of the prophet Habakkuk who described God coming in the future from Teman, the Holy One from Mount Paran.  Habakkuk said that pestilence went before Him and fever followed at His feet (Habakkuk 3:5).

For the sixth plague, Moses took ashes from a furnace, threw them in the air, and caused boils to break out on the Egyptians and their beasts.  This plague reminds me of the first bowl (plague) of Revelation 16:2:  “…disgusting and painful sores appeared on all the people who had the mark of the beast and worshipped its image.”

The seventh plague in Egypt was a hailstorm that killed any man or beast that did not heed Moses’ word and remained in the field instead of being sheltered at home.  The hail was also accompanied by thunder and fire.  It destroyed the herbs, flax, and barley and broke every tree of the field.  In Revelation 8:7, the first trumpet brought hail and fire mingled with blood.  A third of the trees were burned up and all of the grass was burned up.

The eighth plague in Egypt brought locusts on an east wind that ate everything the hail left.  These natural locusts should remind us of the locusts mentioned in Revelation 9.  These locusts were not the same kind of locusts in Egypt.  They were not to harm the grass, plants, or trees but only the people who did not have the seal of God on their foreheads.  They weren’t allowed to kill people, only to inflict pain on them for five months.  Joel described these locusts as God’s army and as a nation that comes against His people so that His people repent, fast, and call a sacred assembly in preparation for the Day of the Lord.

The ninth plague is that of a darkness that could be felt and it lasted for 3 days.  Surely if this darkness could be felt it was not only a physical darkness but a spiritual darkness as well.  Perhaps this darkness is similar to the three hours of darkness that took place the day Jesus died on the cross – a time when spiritual darkness ruled.  Darkness is also mentioned in Zephaniah 1:14-18:

“The great day of the Lord is near; It is near and hastens quickly.  The noise of the day of the Lord is bitter; There the mighty men shall cry out.  15 That day is a day of wrath, A day of trouble and distress, A day of devastation and desolation, A day of darkness and gloominess, A day of clouds and thick darkness, 16 A day of trumpet and alarm Against the fortified cities And against the high towers.  17 “I will bring distress upon men, And they shall walk like blind men, Because they have sinned against the Lord; Their blood shall be poured out like dust, And their flesh like refuse.”  18 Neither their silver nor their gold Shall be able to deliver them In the day of the Lord’s wrath; But the whole land shall be devoured By the fire of His jealousy, For He will make speedy riddance Of all those who dwell in the land.”

I would not want to be in the land of Israel at that time.  I would want to be safely hidden away in some other place.  We are nine plagues down and one more to go.  Please come back next time for a discussion of the last one…

 

[1] Targum Pseudo-Jonathan http://targum.info/pj/pjex6-9.htm

[2] Ibid.


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2 thoughts on “The Plagues of Egypt Begin

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